Monday, June 24, 2013

"Customer service" as in "Don't accuse customers with legitimate concerns about their safety and water quality of being terrorists"

If the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has not damaged its reputation enough by approving questionable landfills (like the one near Salemtown), misleading the public about safety risks or releasing post-catastrophe test results not quite as revealing as others, now comes word via one of their bureaucrats that criticism of TDEC's handling of our water sources may lead to being branded "terrorists":

In an audio recording ... TDEC Deputy Director of the Division of Water Resources Sherwin Smith says, “ ... you need to make sure that when you make water quality complaints you have a basis, because federally, if there’s no water quality issues, that can be considered, under homeland security, an act of terrorism.”

TDEC spokeswoman Meg Lockhart said in a written response to questions that Smith regrets his choice of words.

“The department is working to address this issue, and to provide broader customer service training for all employees,” Lockhart wrote.

Aside from TDEC's rather feeble attempt to repair the department's marketing strategy to its "customers" (which seems really just more of the same foolishness) how is Mr. Smith keeping his position while falsely accusing Tennesseans with valid concerns about their water quality of being terrorists? And terrorism has come to mean so many things when attempting to quash dissent, that it means nothing at all:

Anything is an act of terrorism, even complaining about water quality. If the state disagrees with the public's assessment that the water is so hard it's best consumed with a chisel and a fork, they're now on The List and should know that any attempts to board a plane in the future will require a full-blown molestation of their person and carry-on luggage. 

I realize that because they are bureaucrats, government officials can often go on absorbing these embarrassments with an wavering sense of job security, but eventually the hubris and intimidation has got to catch up with them, even in a red state.

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